Academic Coordinator Kristen Waldinger helps keep educational goals on track

“I like to see breakthroughs and the little light bulbs going off.”

After taking a sabbatical, Kristen Waldinger told herself the only way she would return to work is if she worked for ACH.

“I lucked into getting the job here!” she says.

But it wasn’t just luck that landed her a position as Academic Coordinator for the Turning Point and Summit programs at ACH’s Wedgwood campus. She had years of experience as both a public-school teacher and a foster care case manager.

The Best of Both Worlds

While in ACH’s specialized care, students can continue to work toward their academic goals. As Academic coordinator, Kristen guides them through lesson plans from an educational computer program.

Kristen never thought the two lines of work she loved so much would cross over but the experience in both has allowed her to understand her students better.

"Any confidence building is a success.”

“A lot of kids are behind in school because they’re going through emotional issues, going from home to home and school to school,” Kristen explains. She says it’s not uncommon for her students to be distant at first, but Kristen perseveres with positivity. 

“I like to see breakthroughs and the little light bulbs going off,” she says. 

Building Confidence Through Education

Even though her time with the students typically lasts two weeks or less, she aims to make the best impression in that small amount of time by celebrating their successes—no matter how small.

“If they have an interest in science, for example, I help them and that just builds their confidence,” she says. “And to me, that’s a success. Any confidence building is a success.”

The way Kristen sees it, success can be measured at many levels. And she continues to cultivate that success through confidence building and recognition.